London, November 29: Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday called upon Indian business leaders in the UK to come forward and cooperate with the Indian Government in its Namami Gange project to clean the river Ganga.
Notably, while addressing a gathering of business leaders in London, Minister Nitin Gadkari said that while Nirmal Ganga is the foremost priority for the Government, people’s participation is also vital for maintaining the river’s pristine glory. He further called upon Indian business leaders in the UK to come forward and cooperate with the Indian Government in its Namami Gange project to clean the river Ganga.
Minister Gadkari also stated that there are projects worth more than Rs.10,000 crore for development of ghats, crematoria, water bodies, parks, sanitation facilities, public amenities and riverfront development which need additional funding. He informed that projects worth over Rs 2500 crore, available for private funding have been published as a booklet and are also available on the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), website as an e-booklet.
The Minister appealed to the business leaders to select projects of their choice for funding. He said the list of projects is only illustrative and will be updated. As of now, there are projects in the category of development of ghats and crematoria, modernization of existing ghats. “The development of Smriti Vans, in-situ treatment of drains by using innovative technologies such as bioremediation and modular sewage treatment plants,” he added.
Talking about the work being done by the Government for ensuring Nirmal Ganga Minister Gadkari said that more than 119 ghat projects have already been taken up in five states at the cost of Rs.650 Crore. NMCG has taken up the execution of various sewerage infrastructure projects. 97 towns have been identified along the mainstream of river Ganga, for generating 3603 Mld (estimated for the year 2035) of sewage treatment capacity. The existing sewage treatment capacity in these towns is 1580 Mld.
“In the first phase, 85 sewerage projects have been taken up in 55 of these 97 towns. These projects will create another 1424 Mld STP capacity at a cost of Rs. 11105 Cr. In the remaining 42 towns, fresh interventions are not required either due to interventions have already taken up under other schemes or due to low pollution load/impact,” the Water Resources Minister added.
Minister Gadkari further informed that the Government is spending more than Rs.20,000 crore on sewage treatment to ensure Nirmal Ganga. Ten major towns contribute almost 64% of present sewage generation of the 97 identified above, The towns are Haridwar, Kanpur, Allahabad, Farrukhabad, Varanasi, Patna, Bhagalpur, Kolkata, Howrah and Bally.
“All requirements of sewage treatment infrastructure in these 10 towns have been fully addressed. 18 of the 85 projects undertaken have been completed, creating 151 mld STP capacity which is presently in operation. 35 projects are under progress and other 32 projects are under various stages of tendering. This will create an additional sewage treatment capacity of 1273 mld,” Minister Gadkari added.
Following Gadkari’s appeal, some business leaders gave their commitments for projects in Patna and Kanpur. More such commitments and MoUs in this regard are slated to be signed during a Namami Gange Road Show being organized on November 29 of this year in London. A large number of NRIs, PIOs are expected to join this session. Shri Gadkari expressed the hope that he expects a commitment of more than Rs. 2000 crores from business leaders during this roadshow.
On the other side, India and United Kingdom will soon sign a MoU in the urban transport sector for cooperation in policy planning, technology transfer and institutional organization. The draft MoU seeks to facilitate cooperation in the transport sector and enable the sharing of expertise and latest technology to promote efficient mobility solutions. It is also expected to usher in policy reforms that can transform the transport sector through improved customer service/data analysis and better use of IT systems. The MOU will also help in promoting digital transactions and induction of high capacity diesel/electric vehicles in India. This MOU will also establish the terms on which such assistance can be provided.